Anniversary dinner at Merlo on Lincoln

In preparation for our 16th anniversary night out, Aviva was in a quandry – where to go to dinner? We wanted Italian food – we love Italian food, but there are very, very few places in Chicagp that have food that, in our opinion, tastes at all like the preparations in Italy. I mentioned Merlo on Lincoln .

They have two restaurants – one on Maple in the Gold Coast / north loop area, and the one on Lincoln south of Diversey. We choose the one on Lincoln because its a little more convenient and would probably be less busy. The food is Bolognese and quite nice – the lasagna is a special standout, very much like what we had in Bologna.

Aviva and I shared the insalata di carciofi, funghi, sedano e grana (“raw sliced artichoke salad with champignon mushrooms, celery and ‘Parmigiano Reggiano'”). I had the Passatelli (“extruded dough of ‘Parmigiano Reggiano’, eggs and grated bread cooked in hen stock”) followed by the tortellini alla panna (“hand-made tortellini stuffed with ‘Prosciutto di Parma’, ‘Parmigiano Reggiano’ and veal tenderloin in cream sauce”), also hand-made. Ended the night with their special Christmas dolce, an Italian Christmas cake soaked in liquour with chocolate shavings and a scoop each of lemon and vanilla gellato. Very yummy!

I highly recommend this spot – just be careful that you have time, as they are a slow food restaurant; each course will be made individually for you, and that takes time (if eating a sit down meal in Europe makes you edgy, this may not be your cup of tea).


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